Imagine Never Having a Bible

A community in China receiving Bibles for the first time. (Photo: Bible Society Australia)

You may be surprised that there are approximately:

  • 1.2 billion people in the world who cannot afford to buy a Bible.
  • Another 2 billion people who don’t have the Bible translated into their native language.
  • An additional 750 million adults who struggle with literacy.

As Christians, we have all gone through our own transforming process as we have grown in our relationship with Christ.  We know the impact that God’s Word has in our lives, so naturally we want to see everyone have access to the Bible as well.

Melissa Lipsett, Chief Operations Manager of the Bible Society Australia, spoke with Neil Johnson on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty program about championing worldwide access to the Bible.

What does it mean to have a life-changing encounter through the Bible?

“It happened first and foremost in my own life,” Melissa shared. “So I know the change that can be brought about when people are exposed to the Bible for the first time.”

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2 is one of Neil’s favourite verses.

“We know that God’s Word speaks into empty hearts. It’s been doing it for thousands of years and I happen to believe that it will be doing it for thousands of years to come.”

“Many, many people will download the Bible in various parts of the world, but there is something very special about holding God’s Word in our hands,” Melissa says sharing her heart-felt passion. “As I travel around Australia and the Globe talking about [the Bible Society’s] work and seeing the people who are interacting in our projects. Many, many, many of them tell me how special it is to hold a copy of the Bible in their own hands.”

Woman holding a Bible for the first time.

“Last year I had the great privilege of being in Cuba where we had just been able to witness the ‘Million Bibles Into Cuba’ mission and I saw a woman receive a Bible.  I will never forget the tears that flowed from her eyes and the fact that she kissed the Bible.  She said she had dreamed her entire life of being able to touch a Bible, of being able to touch God’s Word.  In her community in Cuba, Bibles were so rare that there was often only one in the entire church community.”

“So the day that we were there and able to give every person in that church their own Bible, so many people just wept for joy of receiving it and holding it in their hands.  Knowing that they didn’t have to give it away, they didn’t have to pass it on, but they were able to take it home and use it every day in their own lives.  Such a massive thing for them.”

Neil and Melissa continue their conversation in the audio clip below about how strange it is for us, who have easy access to Bibles, to think about people having a ‘treasure’ mentality about owning a Bible…

Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, week days on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times.

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